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Category Archives: Insurance

Companies Change Prices Regularly, So You Should Shop Regularly

I hope you have a general understanding that rates vary considerably from, for example, Good to go insurance company to Citizens insurance company and why. It provides an opportunity for you to save a lot of money, even if you are getting a great rate on your insurance today — if shop your auto insurance on a regular basis.

I recommend that you shop your insurance annually, to verify that you have a good rate, or find a better rate and save money. There are two reasons to do this:

Your situation will change. Whether you do something to change your situation (get married, move, buy a home) or something happens to you (you get older, your credit improves, you don’t move), your situation has changed.  Therefore, the rating factors impacting the premium you are paying for, change, and there may be a better rate available to you.

Companies typically change their rates and/or program at least once per year

Insurance is highly competitive, and as companies gain or lose market share they will be adjusting their programs and rates to try and attract more stable customers. I attended an insurance conference a few years ago, and one of the speakers told all the company executives in attendance that if they did not overhaul their programs annually they would be falling behind their competitor’s advancements. Companies have built large Research & Development departments that are continually looking for more sophisticated methods for segmenting risks to attract the best customer and charge the “right” rate. This could almost be considered a cottage industry because consultants and third-party vendors have built large business to support and advise companies in developing more advance pricing models. This means that for example, the rate that Good to go insurance gave the last year may be higher than the one they’ll give you now. If not, there’s always another company.

Insiders Tip

You might assume that at renewal your policy premium with good to go auto insurance will change to reflect your improved stability or the company’s latest and greatest rating plan, but the truth is that this isn’t always the case. Most insurance companies do not want your rate to change. If you are happy with your current rate (and they assume that you are since you bought the policy in the first place), they don’t want to lower it. Insurance companies have devised many ways to separate renewal business from new business so that rates for renewal customers don’t change much. This varies by state, as some states prohibit or limit the companies’ abilities to have different rate plans for new and renewal business, but companies have created very sophisticated ways of separating things. This can work both ways, where renewal premiums may be lower than new business premiums, so it can work to your advantage. The point is, you will not know unless you shop and find out for yourself if you are getting the best deal.

Bottom-line:  Shop your insurance policy once per year because it is easy, and you can save money

Confucius says… good to go insurance is too Confusing

Yes, insurance can be confusing. However, if you’ll hang in there with me for a few pages, I’ll show you how simple it can be. Then I’ll explain why the insurance industry makes it difficult for you to shop for insurance.

As you read this section, I suggest that you refer to your current Declarations Page (Dec Page) which describes the limits and deductibles on your policy today. The Dec Page was sent to you by the Goodtogoautoinsurance shortly after you purchased the policy or renewed it.

Coverages Explained

This is what you are actually buying – coverage to protect you, your loved ones, and your car in different situations. Most people glaze over when they talk about insurance coverage – and many people assume that their auto insurance policy covers them in all situations. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. There are certain coverages that are required, legally by the state, and there are other coverages that the bank or finance company will require you to maintain. Since the coverage is what will determine how well you are protected it is important for you to understand what you are buying, why you may need it, and how much to purchase.

The next section deals with what each type of coverage protects you against and pays for in the event of a claim. In addition, we’ll deal with “limits” and “deductibles” and I’ll give you some practical advice on what level of limit or deductible you may want to consider buying based on your personal situation.

Legal Disclaimer

For accurate and specific coverage definitions please refer to your policy contract and declarations page that was provided by your insurance carrier. While most coverages are the same for all companies, there may be slight variations. Some companies — primarily Non-standard or High-Risk carriers like Goodtogoinsurance — will have more exclusions than Standard or Preferred carriers. Common exclusions are for things like War, Nuclear Incidents, and Misrepresentation. “Misrep” means the company can deny coverage if you lie to them on the application or misrepresent a material (meaningful) fact.

Typically, the company is looking for big lies – youthful drivers in the household, cars that you own but did not disclose, or providing them a garaging address that is different from where you really live (e.g. you live in Chicago but give the company your parents address in Springfield). These are some of the reasons Good to go insurance will attempt to apply the Misrepresentation clause after you have had a claim. In short, do your best to provide the company with the most accurate information possible and then shop your insurance to get the best rate.

The Biggest Reasons Businesses Fail (and How You Can Avoid Them)

Many people work hard to start their own business and build it from the ground up. They put their life savings and all of their energy into building their dream. They spend hours using slogan generators to come up with the perfect motto; they spend time interviewing candidates for each position very carefully; they put their own time and money into putting together an office, and so much more. Unfortunately, not all businesses succeed, and some entrepreneurs watch their dreams turn into lessons learned.

There are a number of reasons that businesses fail. Sometimes it’s due to money, other times it’s due to poor management. Whatever the reason, though, a failed business can be frustrating, discouraging, and can cause personal financial trouble for owners. If you’re thinking about or working on starting a business, here are some of the biggest reasons that businesses fail and how you can avoid them:

Cash Flow Problems

Approximately 82 percent of businesses fail because of cash problems. Many businesses experience but make it through those cash flow problems; however, sometimes those problems can be a business’s downfall. Not having enough money coming in to cover the cost of employees, pay the bills, fulfill orders, etc. will quickly cause a business to go under. While some businesses can survive and scrape by until cash flow improves, other are unable to stay afloat.

Cash flow problems can be caused by anything from disorganized books to serious debt, and lack of profit to fast growth accompanied by overspending. Luckily, there are some things you can do to avoid cash flow problems.

How to Avoid Them

One of the best ways to stay on top of cash flow and avoid serious problems is to plan and stay ahead. Planning, budgeting, and forecasting aren’t things you can do once and call it good. They need to be done over and over again on a regular basis. While doing them every day may be unnecessary, conducting monthly budgeting, forecasting, and planning sessions can help you stay on top of your cash flow, so you know where you stand and what you need to do to stay in the black.

Timing is another important aspect of avoiding cash flow problems. When you know what you have and what needs to be paid out, you can stagger payments to keep them from piling up at once and depleting your funds completely.

No Need for the Products or Services

There seems to be a market for everything out there, and learning about some of the crazy things that entrepreneurs have made money from makes it seem like no product or service could fail. Unfortunately, though, that’s not the case. Many entrepreneurs have put in a lot of hard work to get their business going only to watch their products fail because there’s no market, (or the market is too small), for what they’re offering.

How to Avoid That

The best way to ensure that there’s a market for your product or service is to do extensive research before you even start your business. The research should include everything from what other similar products are out there and who the competition is to customer surveys to gauge how well your product would be received and at what price point people would purchase it.

It’s Being Run by the Wrong Team

Picking the right team takes a lot of work and can be difficult to do. Even if you’ve chosen key team members who you thought were the right fit, you may find out later that they are poor managers, don’t have the skills they claimed, or are toxic employees that affect the entire staff. As hard as it can be to admit, in some cases, you may find that although you had a great idea, you are the wrong person to run things in an active position.

How to Avoid That

It can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between bad, mediocre, and good employees in a short interview, but there are some telltale signs that you can learn that will help you identify quality employees right away. A strong work ethic, positive attitude, and ambition are all signs of a good employee.

Final Thoughts

Starting up a business can be difficult, but the reward and satisfaction can be more than worth it. Unfortunately, though, despite the hard work, businesses can fail whether due to cash flow issues, poor products, or toxic team members. Luckily, those can all be avoided, and with the proper insurance, you can get your business thriving in no time.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve encountered while starting your business?

Protect Family From Illness

Understanding the Risks

The reason people tend to get sick on a flight is simple: the cabin pressure causes humidity at low levels, which causes dry mucus. (Mucus helps provide protection from air-borne pathogens.) However, that’s just one thing among myriad factors that could lead to sickness during a flight- not having enough sleep, stress and other small reasons can all contribute to an immune system that succumbs to an inflight infection. This is why even a small degree of preparation can go a long way. Make sure everyone gets enough sleep before the flight, and always have anti-bacterial gel handy. And when it comes to travel insurance for family groups, the only tip is – get it!

Prepare Weeks in Advance

There’s nothing more effective than prepping your body’s immune system and resistance weeks, even months, before the scheduled journey. If you carry out this preparation with the same degree of care you spend, say, choosing your travel insurance for family holidays, you’ll start from a good place. You should also adapt your diet; for example add an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, as cruciferous, fibre-rich veggies are known to work directly with our body’s immune system. It also helps if you can improve your gut flora by eating plenty of plain yoghurt. There are also things you must cut out, such as sugar (especially refined sugar, which is known to hamper the activities of leukocytes), and, of course, alcohol. And while you’re at it, at least 30 minutes of exercise a day will help in myriad ways.

Take supplements

Even if you and your family have diligently spent the weeks leading up to the flight boosting your immune systems, you will still need some help during the flight-especially a long-haul one where you spend up to 18 hours sharing a pressurised atmosphere with a bunch of strangers. Bring certain health supplements with you to take throughout the journey. For example, you can add to your daily dose of vitamin C (or sodium ascorbate) a probiotics capsule (similar to yoghurt, but in a more compact form), and a 15mg supplement of zinc. Taking 500 mg of olive leaf extract two times a day also works wonders in a travel situation as it stimulates the body’s production of leukocytes.

Saving Money on Insurance Premiums

Liability Coverage on Older Vehicles

For anyone who has older vehicles, carrying only liability insurance is one way to reduce premiums. This is especially helpful for those who have older vehicles in addition to their vehicles used for primary transportation. Removing the collision and comprehensive pay can be a good way to reduce spending, particularly if the value of the vehicle is low. It could be that the cost of insuring the vehicle is higher than the replacement value.

One main consideration with this idea is whether or not there are payments due on the car. For anyone who is still financing, the agency may not allow a drop in coverage until it is paid in full. Also, if there is no way to replace the vehicle in the event of a crash, full coverage may be needed until funds are in place to do so.

Inquire About Safe Driver Discounts

Many agencies will offer discounts to those who have a clean driving record. These discounts are typically provided to those who have no tickets or accidents on their driving record in a specified timeframe. In addition, drivers should not have made any claims for comprehensive repairs, such as broken windshields.

Ask About Discounts for Good Grades

For those with children of driving age, a good report card can prove to be beneficial with regard to insurance costs. Discounts are often provided to kids who maintain a certain grade point average. The amount of the discount will vary from agency to agency. Also, the insurance agent will likely ask for proof of grade point average from time to time, so be prepared to provide that information on a regular basis.

Info of Auto Insurance Renewal

· Annual Policy: an auto insurance policy that is valid for one year.

· Semi-annual Policy: some policies are valid for only 6-moths period. For policyholders, 6-months provide the chance to improve DMV records and reduce the premium for the next renewal date.

Auto insurance companies have the obligation to notice policyholder about renewal information. They can send it via mail or email within 45 – 30 days in advance of renewal date. Unless policyholders want to make changes to the current policy, renewal process should be quick and easy. Nonetheless, it is best for policyholders to do their due diligence and check for errors or unexpected surcharge. Before the renewal takes place, please make time to:

· Review the policy: the best time to verify discounts or make changes to coverage is on renewal date. It becomes more important when policyholders have practiced safety guidelines from the insurer as a requirement for discount eligibility. Auto insurers often reward good customers with lower premium as well. In many cases, it takes an insurance agent to see potential changes in the policy.

· Make payment: whether policyholders want to continue or cancel the policy, the best time to notify the insurer is on renewal date (or several weeks before). Some carriers do not allow for grace period on renewals, so they can cancel the policies because there is no payment confirmation. Even when policyholders want to switch to new carrier, it is important to notify the current insurer to avoid fines.

Premium Surcharge

An increase in premium rate is not uncommon. It happens for two main reasons. First, the insurance company increases the base rate. In this case, all policyholders should get premium surcharge. Even good drivers with clean records should pay more under this circumstance. Another reason is that the policyholder has higher risk than before in the previous period. Traffic tickets and bad credit score can lead to premium surcharge. Auto insurance claims for an at-fault accident almost always increase the premium as well.

Changes before Renewal

Insurers allow policyholders to make changes in the policies between renewals; this regulation applies only for auto/car insurance policy. Other vehicles such as RV, boat, and motorcycles may not have this option. Changes in policy for examples coverage omission or vehicle removal from the list can offset the premium surcharge from bad DMV records. In worst scenario where policyholders have records of involvement in accidents that cause severe injuries or deaths, the rate can go very high beyond affordability. To compensate for expensive premium, policyholders can choose to purchase only state’s minimum coverage requirements.

Core Agency Values

To begin, Values are what drives effort and effort is what produces results, good or bad. Effort in the wrong places seldom produces the right results. So there are really two things here that are important-Effort and Direction. While both are important, Effort comes first-you gotta have some before you can direct it. Today we are only talking about Effort, Direction is for another day.

An example of how values drive Effort is often and most visibly played out in sales. A lot of sales activity (Effort) often produces more sales but possibly not the right sales (Direction). Now here is the exciting part-You can really, control your effort by choosing the right Values and matching the talent of new hire to those Values. The key here is to understand that people work to satisfy their values, not yours and don’t try to put into someone something that is not already there. All that boils down to looking for and hiring people who have values that match the agency needs.

So now it is beginning to get clear. Why do we want to know your agency values? Answer; so you can hire people with values similar to those of our agency. Now what are some agency Values of importance?

1. Theoretical Values- those who value knowledge and continuous learning or intellectual growth.
2. Traditional Values- those who value the tradition inherent in social structure, rules, regulations and principals.
3. Utilitarian Values- those who value achievement, results, and rewards for their investments of time, resources and energy.
4. Individualistic Values- those who value personal recognition, freedom and control over their future and the future of others.
5. Social Values- those who act to enhance the well-being of others.
6. Aesthetic Values- those who pursue a balance in their lives, who are creative, self-expressive and have a love for beauty and nature.

Lower Auto Insurance

Revise coverage on old vehicles

For the older car that is free of finance, it may be worth revising the insurance coverage for collision only. This is the type of protection that is required if damage is coursed to a third-party vehicle. In many cases, this simple step can help to make a useful saving on the cost of insurance.

Use a single insurance company

Try to use a single insurance company for multiple policies, such as auto, home, travel, etc. A benefit of this is the ability to gain a multi-line discount, which is usually in the region of 10-15% of the total annual premium.

Careful driving

There are plenty of insurance policies that offer incentives for a lower premium. One of these incentives is a proven record of careful driving, which can include staying out of accidents and avoid speeding. This has the potential to give a further discount on the annual premium of about 5-7.5%. Also, by avoiding any traffic violations over a period of 3 years; it is possible to get a further deduction of costs.

Increase the deductible

A further simple step to control the costs is to increase the deductible amount. This is the first amount paid by the policy holder at the time of making a claim. By increasing the deductible from $250 to $500, there is the potential to make a substantial difference. The deductible can even be increased to an amount like $1,000, which should go a long way to control the insurance premium. But, it is sensible to only raise the deductible to an amount that is affordable, and easily payable in the event of needing to make an insurance claim.

Taking Out Life Insurance

  1. That you buy your insurance from a company that has a good reputation. A broker is important in this and should be a reputable one as well. If you use a company, you should know what you want otherwise you would need a broker to explain all the details to you. You could find out who is reputable by calling the registry board in your country or area. All the providers as well as brokers have to be registered.
  1. It is important that you do know exactly what you are in need of. You cannot venture into taking out too much. The broker’s job (or the company) is there to help you with calculating the costs of your insurance. They would look at what you currently have in place and would then calculate what you need is.
  1. In discussing your needs, especially for the life cover, you should make sure that you do not omit any necessary information. It will adversely affect the payout at the end, if it is discovered that you were a smoker and that you had been suffering with ill health that resulted in your death.
  1. Ensure that you provide the policy with a beneficiary. If the policy does not have a beneficiary, the policy will not be paid out directly to your family, it will be paid into the estate. It could take months for the estate to be wrapped up. It does not have to be one beneficiary only. If you do not have any family members, you could nominate any charity of your liking.
  1. The most important aspect is that you should do, is to know exactly what is in the content of the policy. This you can only know if you read it carefully, and that would include the fine print. If anything is unclear, you should contact the provider or the broker who assisted you. By reading the document, you are clear that all you asked for are included, that you are paying the right premium and whether there is a waiting period.

All about Flood Insurance Fallacies

Having flood insurance is the only way to be somewhat safe when it comes to your home protecting your home from water damage. Across the United States, only about 20% of the homes that are at risk for flooding are covered by some type of flood insurance. Most major private coverage providers do not want to insure people against flooding because of adverse selection. This means that the number of people who are making claims against flooding damage is greater than the number of people who want to protect their homes from the possibility of flood damage, so private insurers see this as something that will not bring them any profit.

However, in certain flood prone areas, the government requires that flood insurance be purchased in order to secure mortgage loans from federally accredited agencies. This coverage does not go into effect until thirty days after the policy has been purchased, unless the person lives in a floodplain. This purchase of flood coverage, provided by the government, went into effect in 1968 under the National Flood Insurance Program. Many people have criticized this program because it helps people rebuild in areas that are vulnerable to flooding, without any of their premiums ever going up. Homes and areas that were flooded over twenty times are still able to be covered without the threat of rising premiums.

Flooding is defined as inundation of an area of two or more acres, or two or more properties that are usually dry land. Flooding can be brought on by hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, levee breaches, and other natural disasters. Unfortunately, if flooding occurs due to an earthquake, the damage from flooding is not covered by the earthquake insurance. Flood damage is not covered under any other type of policy a homeowner could hold.

Legal Action in Financial Plan

Personally legal problems happen to people when they get a traffic ticket, when they buy a good or service that was represented as one thing but delivered as something completely different and when they too sign a contract that is worded in a way to give them little room to fight back if a deal falls apart.

Of course too, there is the fact that anyone could get sued for any reason.

Financial planning is the process of accumulating, distributing and transferring wealth. However, many financial planning practitioners fail to address the legal needs of their client in order to protect their wealth in the first place.

For those financial planners who are working with the top 10% of the population, there is a good chance that these clients have their own personal attorney’s that they work with. These attorneys can charge anywhere between $150-1000 an hour depending their specialty and location.

What I have seen is that many of the very wealthiest or those who have substantial businesses will always council with their lawyers on any important legal matter. They understand that the largest companies in the world have massive legal departments who look at every angle to give their firm an edge. In order to compete and protect themselves, understanding legal consequences of any important business decision is a must.

However, these fee’s can deter many of wealthiest of individuals from counseling with them before they make any important decision. More than likely, they have not had a big enough problem to justify spending money to get advise. Like everything in life, people tend to need to experience their own mistakes in order to justify additional costs. So instead, many will make a decisions and “wing it” hoping nothing bad will happen.

People who haven’t acquired wealth yet and are in the middle class. Forget it! Most of them are struggling to make ends meet meaning that they will never spend money to consult an attorney to keep themselves out of trouble. Some have friends or family members who are attorneys that they can occasionally ask for help but usually this only happens after they find themselves in big trouble.